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Mandarin duck

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Mandarin Duck
A pair of ducks in Switzerland
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Aix galericulata
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Aix galericulata

The mandarin duck (Aix galericulata) is a duck that breeds in eastern Siberia, China and Japan and winters in southern China and Japan. There is a small free-flying population in Britain which grew from the release of captive bred ducks.


In full plumage, the male mandarin duck has a pair of "sail" feathers that are raised vertically above the back, a crest of orange and cream feathers, and a broad white eye-stripe that is bounded above and below by darker feathers. The female mandarin duck is duller in color and has an overall grey appearance that is marked by a curving white stripe behind the eye and a series of white blotches on the underparts. In flight, both sexes display a bluish-green iridescent speculum.


The mandarin duck lives in the forests of China and Japan. They prefer to live around wooded ponds and fast flowing rocky streams to swim, wade, and feed in.